GEORGE Alexander showed Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong should be just fine as they adjust to life without Riley Corbett after putting on a nine-goal masterclass in Sunday's 67-point win over Wagga Tigers on Sunday.
Alexander had a reasonable impact last year despite carrying an injured foot which eventually required surgery.
But he showed what he's capable of when fully fit and with a full pre season under his belt, as the Tigers had no answer for the key forward.
Alexander only missed one shot at goal and had a number of Tigers players sent to him as they struggled to contain his influence.
Jock Cornell played out of position down back and managed to do it best, but the bird had already flown after Alexander kicked six in the first half to help the hosts to a 12.5 (77) to 1.8 (14) halftime lead.
The Lions forward line functioned well, although the Tigers lifted in the second half where both teams kicked five goals apiece.
Former Lions centre half forward Riley Corbett is now playing in the SANFL. Alexander will get bigger tests when he plays against taller defences than the Tigers, but the signs couldn't be better.
"I thought he was pretty impressive last year and it was only on one leg," GGGM coach Sam Martyn said.
"We're really fortunate we have someone like George in our team who can replace Riley in terms of his input, and maybe a bit more too.
"He's worked really hard over the off season to get his body right, and he got his rewards today. He's strong and quick with great hands, and is a dead eye on goal.
"You have to give credit to our other forwards too. I thought Dan Foley was tremendous at centre half forward, Jack McCaig and Kai Watts were excellent with their pressure and it was good to see Connor Kresbar kick a goal."
Midfielders Matt Hamblin and Tom Anderson were strong for the Lions and added a goal and two goals respectively, while Tiger Crawford Wadley kicked two goals and had touches of class on debut.
Both teams were hugely understrength due to COVID and injuries, with the Lions' greater depth on show.
But Tigers coach Stephenson was frustrated with his side's seven-goals-to-none second quarter which ended the match as a contest.
"There's something to take out of it, but it's still pretty hollow," he said.
"For three quarters we took it up to them and yes, we weren't very efficient going forward, but for one quarter we got blown away.
"All our debutants played a hand and had good moments, but for one quarter we were well off the pace and that wasn't good enough."
GGGM 5.2 12.5 12.8 17.10 (112) def WAGGA TIGERS 1.4 1.8 2.8 6.9 (45)
Goals: GGGM - George Alexander 9, Tom Anderson 2, Daniel Foley 2, Aaron Proctor, Matt Hamblin, Kai Watts, Connor Krebser; Wagga Tigers - Crawford Wadley 2, Brady Morton 2, Hainsworth Cock, Harry Bennett
Best: GGGM - George Alexander, Matt Hamblin, Tom Anderson, Luke Walsh, Aaron Proctor, Mitch Taylor; Wagga Tigers - Ashley Bennett, Jock Cornell, Murray Stephenson, Jesse Manton, Shaun Flanigan, Cooper Pavitt
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